2 countries, Brazil and Argentina
2 cans of Deet spray
1 bottle of sun cream
3 internal flights
6 pairs of Havianas
10kg of personal clothing given away
30kg of sports clothing donated to local charities
66 minimum medals for Team GB (at time of writing), 2nd in the medal table
£3 per Caiprinha
5 new passport stamps including 1 Rio 2016 stamp
1 manageable credit card bill
1 walking, talking, happy Priya.
When I think about or describe Brail I start to salivate about the delicious, freshly prepared produce and Caiprinhas. My eyes haze over visualising mountain ranges and lush forests, I hear the birds gossiping away and I feel the soft, warm sand beneath my feet as I run towards the clear blue sea.
The country is suffering from it economical decline. The city of Rio de Janeiro hasn’t paid it’s police force resulting in strike action, take a look around you will see central government military personnel on the streets and at Rio 2016 venues. I sympathise with the residents perspective, why are local and central governments pouring millions of Reals into an event (2 events once Paralympics are delivered) which hasn’t benefitted them? Most residents cannot afford the ticket prices let alone the travel costs and with the Rio financial crisis which organisation is able to coordinate and pay for transportations that can take children to the events? A huge shame as these events could have inspired local children into believing they can ‘dare to dream’.
I loved travelling around Brazil, experiencing each gem it had to offer and being mesmerised by the soil, so rich in iron it is blood orange in colour. I’ve met wildlife I’ve never seen before, slept in a hammock in the countryside watching the stars, conversed with an armadillo and did one of my favourite things – drink coconut water from an coconut – refreshing!
Brazilians are smooth, exceptional movers to any rhythm, I am forever in awe, the Samba is sexy. A mum playing kick-about with her son on the beach casually back heels’ the ball #skills. The beaches are full of volleyball courts that are used on a turn up and play basis. The food portions are huge, everything is served with chips and rice yet I struggled to find a fat person, friends said the same. The Brailian culture keeps things real as I found looking at a shop manakin celebrating the female body.
Then we have the Rio 2016 Games, I’ve been to a few, however these games have been the most exciting I’ve experienced. The opening ceremony was beautiful and a poignant reflection of Brazil’s history. The performance from Team GB was exceptional, our most successful games for those with and without a medal not forgetting the dedication, analysis, support from the Team GB coaches, medical staff amongst others. I am still excited about the GB Hockey Women’s Gold medal win – yes, success in a team sport, a female team sport! I am ecstatic about the British Gymnastics success that will go from strength to strength with the depth of female and male gymnasts developing in the performance system. Look what can be achieved with direct funding……
With the Games, comes the spectators from all ‘corners’ of the world, all friendly, all sports mad, cheering their nation to the max and celebrating success in local bars and restaurants. It brought a smile to my face hearing people sharing their stories, travel experiences and wanting to have a selfie with a plastic inflatable kangaroo.
I’ll never tire of exploring, wherever my ticket takes me I meet fellow explorers, sharing hints and tips and enjoying what life gives to us. Sometimes these new friends create new travel dreams, that at some point will feature as a passport stamp becoming my new reality. PS. I’ve got ‘white bits’!